I came up with a fun use for a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker.
I love the look of old radios and old radio cabinets. Sadly, most of them are non-functional. And while I love antiques, I only like them if they’re still functional. So, while looking at a display of non-functioning radios at the Maumee Antique Mall, I got an idea. What if you could repurpose a beautiful exterior by giving it a modern interior?
As a tech writer, I’m familiar with the many Bluetooth devices on the market that can stream music from your phone, PC or tablet. Could I give a beautiful old body a new brain?
I chose this beauty from 1950. The price for this non-working classic: $20.
I took off the back screws, removed the back and loosed all the screws necessary to remove the non-working guts.
It was just a bit dusty inside.
After a quick clean-up, I got to work. Since removing the interior screws caused the knobs to come off, I glued them back on.
I was also pleased to find the little red dial pointer inside the radio where it had fallen. I slipped it back on the original guide wire and replaced it inside the radio. For the interior speaker, I chose a rechargeable Bluetooth model. It was quite small and able to sync with either my phone, tablet, PC or a Bluetooth-enabled music player to play whatever songs I like. As a bonus, this speaker had lights you could set to move in time to the music.
I used sticky-backed Velcro to affix the speaker to the interior floor of the radio and also placed somewhere the holes for the screws were on the back of the radio.
I wanted the back to be easily removable in case I needed to access the speaker. Since the original cardboard cover was somewhat damaged, my husband traced an outline of it on a piece of cardboard. We cut out our new back and added Velcro the back. We lined it up with the Velcro on the screw holes. I affixed the remnants of the original back to the cardboard with glue.
After giving everything time to dry, I put on the back. I ran the charging cord for the speaker out the original hole for the electric cord. I also made sure to turn the on/off button for the speaker towards that space for easy access.
I paired the speaker with my phone. All I have to do to use it is reach around and flip on the speaker and start playing music. I can either choose to leave it plugged in with the USB charger or move it anywhere I want. Since I picked a speaker that lights up in time to the music, it looks especially nice at night. The sound is great. My favorite thing to play on it is swing music and old radio programs.